High and Low

( 8 )

Overview

Based on King's Ransom, an "87th Precinct" novel by Ed McBain aka Evan Hunter, High and Low stars Toshiro Mifune as Gondo, a wealthy industrialist. Gondo is contacted by a gang of kidnappers, who inform him that they've kidnapped his son. The crooks demand a huge ransom for the boy's return -- an amount so huge that it will utterly bankrupt Gondo. As the harried businessman prepares to pay the ransom, he discovers that his son is safe at home: the kidnappers have accidentally snatched the son of his chauffeur. ...
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Overview

Based on King's Ransom, an "87th Precinct" novel by Ed McBain aka Evan Hunter, High and Low stars Toshiro Mifune as Gondo, a wealthy industrialist. Gondo is contacted by a gang of kidnappers, who inform him that they've kidnapped his son. The crooks demand a huge ransom for the boy's return -- an amount so huge that it will utterly bankrupt Gondo. As the harried businessman prepares to pay the ransom, he discovers that his son is safe at home: the kidnappers have accidentally snatched the son of his chauffeur. Does Gondo drop his payoff plans, or does he do the honorable thing and rescue his employee's son? This dilemma is but one aspect of the multilayered character study from the unbeatable team of star Toshiro Mifune and filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, who directs this superb film with his usual depth and impeccable eye for detail and character. As a man forced to make impossible decisions, Mifune gives a nuanced, perceptive and psychologically convincing performance. While not one of Kurosawa's master works, High and Low, with its grim reality and moral ambiguity stands as a superb example of film noir at its best. High and Low was originally released in Japan as Tengoku To-Jigoku.
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Special Features

Audio commentary featuring Akira Kurosawa scholar Stephen Prince ; Thrity-seven-minute documentary on the making of High and Low, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create ; Rare video interview with actor Toshiro Mifune, from 1984; Video interview with actor Tsutomu Yamazaki; Theatrical trailers and teaser
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Kurosawa's adaptation of Ed McBain's police procedural is a Dostoyevskian morality play told with dazzlingly choreographed long takes. Toshiro Mifune stars as a business executive who begins to gather a ransom large enough to bankrupt his business after getting a note from kidnappers about a stolen child. When his son turns up, he realizes that it was his chauffeur's son who was abducted, and must decide what course to take. Kurosawa's films with contemporary settings have often dwelt on the corruption of the powerful, in particular on the world of business. But here, as the prerogatives of business clash with personal obligations, it's a businessman who must run the gauntlet of conscience. The film's first act, dealing with Mifune's discovery and tortured decision-making process is a tour-de-force of acting and direction, shot in master scenes whose fluidity is abetted by the mobility and lightness of the shoji screens separating the rooms of the spacious house. The latter part of the film, which tracks the police investigation, points up the collective nature of Japanese law enforcement and features excellent performances by Takashi Shimura and, in an early role, Tatsuya Nakadai. After opening in relative luxury high above the city, Kurosawa then immerses one in the grimy, tightly packed urban nightmare below. As the kidnapper confronts his victim in a shatteringly conclusive scene, he illustrates the gulf between the two.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/26/2011
  • UPC: 715515085915
  • Original Release: 1962
  • Rating:

  • Source: Criterion
  • Region Code: A
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Language: Japanese
  • Time: 2:23:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 111

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Toshiro Mifune Kingo Gondo
Kyoko Kagawa Reiko, Gondo's Wife
Tatsuya Nakadai Inspector Tokura
Yutaka Sada Aoki
Kenjiro Ishiyama Detective Taguchi
Susumu Fujita Commissioner
Takeshi Kato Detective Nakao
Ko Kimura Detective Arai
Tatsuya Mihashi Kawanishi
Koji Mitsui Reporter
Takashi Shimura Director
Yoshio Tsuchiya Detective Murata
Hiroshi Unayama Det. Shimado
Tsutomu Yamazaki Ginji Takeuchi
Technical Credits
Akira Kurosawa Director, Screenwriter
Eijiro Hisaita Screenwriter
Ryuzo Kikushima Producer, Screenwriter
Shinobu Muraki Production Designer
Yoshiro Muraki Art Director
Asakazu Nakai Cinematographer
Choichi Nakai Cinematographer
Hideo Oguni Screenwriter
Takao Saito Cinematographer
Masaru Sato Score Composer
Tomoyuki Tanaka Producer
Herman G. Weinberg Translator
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    Kurosawa deftly proves that he can maneuver the streets and loca

    Kurosawa deftly proves that he can maneuver the streets and locals of upscale and urban modern Japan just was assuredly as he can the villages and battlefields of feudal Japan. This taught thriller is split into two: a father coming to terms with his own class when he discovers after threat of extortion that the child he thought was his own that was kidnapped is the child of one of his servants and the police force that follows up the case in the second half of the film. A text book drama on how to keep tension laced through the entire film. Hitchcock would be proud.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2011

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    Posted July 24, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2010

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    Posted December 3, 2010

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews